Learn Everything About What is Ayurveda

Sep/04/2021 / by Team SEEMA
Ayurveda

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing practice that dates back thousands of years. Maybe a doctor mentioned it to you and you’re questioning what does ayurveda mean? Referred to as the science of life, this healthy living alternative is embraced by many in India. It’s also becoming more popular in the US. While it emphasizes natural healing to the body, soul and mind, it incorporates massage, herbal supplements, healing oils, exercise, meditation and other modalities.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda promotes healthy eating, dietary changes and remedies that can maximize your lifestyle. These are preferred, natural treatment options instead of just treating the symptoms with medications.

Derived from the Sanskrit root words Ayur (life, living) and Veda (science), the healing practice has evolved over the years. It helps people give careful consideration to the maintenance their bodies, minds and souls often need. The science of Ayurveda was an area explored by ancient seers, sages and rishis. They believed that certain herbs could cure sickness and health problems to put you back in a harmonious state. Consequently, Ayurvedic healing centers around balancing body, mind and soul to achieve a happy life.

Ayurveda
Image credits: Pratiksha Mohanty via Unsplash

While the spirit is free, the mind and body can suffer at different times. Given that, careful consideration should be given to monitoring the doshas for a happy and healthy life. Ayurveda is about the interconnected balance between your emotions, physical and spiritual health. By finding harmony in these areas, you’re better able to reduce diseases, illnesses and disorders.

As the Mother of Healing, the influence of Ayurveda can be seen in Chinese medicine as well as in traditional medicinal practices in Tibet and Greece. And yet, Ayurvedic healing isn’t simply about medicinal herbs that treat symptoms. Ayurvedic healing is a permanent relief plan that’s non-toxic, non-invasive and free from any major side effects (minor side effects with some herbal supplements might include bloating or diarrhea). An example of using Ayurvedic herbs is a specific herb that can dissolve gall bladder and kidney stones.

Overall, the main takeaway with Ayurveda is balance. It’s about finding and maintaining that delicate equilibrium through a naturopathic path to health care that goes beyond convention and even modern medicine. Hence, once you balance your equilibrium, you can have a life that’s in perfect harmony and hopefully illness-free.

Ayurvedic Healing and the 3 Dosha Body Types

Ayurvedic practices are holistic approaches to health and focus on the five elements of earth, air, space, fire and water. These are combined with the three doshas which are Pitta, Vata and Kapha. By balancing these, you can find a better way of living and achieve more optimal health.

In breaking down the doshas or components, these elements work closely with the body and nature. People tend to have one dosha that governs over them. But, they can have combination doshas or two predominantly present.

Doshas include:

Vata

Represented by space and air, Vata (air-ether) is a movement body principle. Meaning, it controls how your breathing, heartbeat, blood flow, expelling waste and how your joints and muscles move. Because it governs your body and mind movements, the controlling force behind this dosha is reducing stress and adding more creativity in your life. It also controls areas in the emotions like your pain, fear, anxiety and other parts of the nervous system. Having a Vatta makeup might mean you are small in stature or very thin in your build.

When balanced, you’ll have lots of energy, feel enthusiastic and lively. However, with imbalances, you may find your blood pressure goes up, you’re constipated, restless and may have digestive problems.

Pitta

Pitta represents water and fire and is tied to transformation. It’s tied to emotions like hate, anger, jealousy or envy. It can control certain functions in the body that include your metabolism, digestion, energy production, skin color and your intelligence level. People that have a Pitta makeup might be muscular or of medium stature and build.

When there’s an imbalance, you may suffer from heartburn, high heat, indigestion, skin disorders or rashes or burning sensations. Having Pitta as your dominating principle means your nature is fierier and that’s reflected in your mind and body. Pittas also tend to have lots of energy, big appetites, great digestion and smooth, clear complexes.

Kapha

Responsible for the immune system and represented by water-earth is Kapha. It controls your cell function, bones, fat, muscles and sinew and is responsible for growth, weight, joint lubrication and tissues.

When you’re in balance, you can build up your stamina and endurance. However, imbalances can lead to obesity, diabetes, sleeping too much, depression and asthma. Emotions you might experience through Kapha include forgiveness, calmness, love and greed. Those with a Kapha makeup might be larger or more developed.

Why Choose Ayurveda?

While people use Ayurvedic medicine to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they may also use it to target certain areas like their doshas. Dosha imbalances can occur if there’s an illness present. If this is the case, reach out to a practitioner that specializes in Ayurvedic healing. They may prescribe herbal supplements vitamins, minerals and/or probiotics to help reduce your current symptoms and promote long-term healing.

Ayurveda promotes healthy living comparable to other natural therapies like meditation and yoga for optimizing your long-term health. As more western countries adapt Ayurvedic practices, the list of Ayurvedic treatment options is extensive.

It includes:

  • Abhyangam, Greeva Basti, Janu Basti, Kashayadhara and Kati Basti
  • Kizhi, MukhaLepam, Netra Tarpanam, Padabhyangam and Pizhichil
  • Shringara, Shirodhara, Soundarya, Spine Basti, Thalapothichil, Ubtan and Udvartanam

Often, people will ask if Ayurvedic healing is safe. The answer is yes but there are certain Ayurvedic medicines that include high metal content (mercury, arsenic). The FDA has banned these supplements in the US. Because some people combine conventional medications with Ayurvedic healing, talk to your healthcare practitioner about your alternative medicine options.

FAQ

What Ayurvedic means?

Are you wondering what does ayurveda means? Ayurvedic healing is an ancient Indian healing practice that dates back thousands of years.  While it emphasizes natural healing to the body, soul and mind, it incorporates massage, herbal supplements, healing oils, exercise, meditation and other modalities.

Is Ayurveda a science?

Referred to as the science of life, this healthy living alternative is embraced by many in India and is becoming more popular in the US. This popular healing practice evolved over thousands of years. It helps people maintain the delicate body, mind and soul connection.

The science of Ayurveda was explored by ancient sages, seers, and rishis. They believed that incorporating certain herbs, vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables into one’s diet could cure certain illnesses and resolve health problems. Hence, a goal with Ayurvedic healing is putting your body back into a harmonious state and keeping it there for a happy life.

Is Ayurveda really effective?

Yes, Ayurvedic medicine can help to correct nature’s imbalances and reduce disease. Ayurvedic practices are useful for lowering blood pressure, reducing asthma and helping to stop arthritis. It can improve your stamina, strength, flexibility and improve your mental state as it decreases stress.

What is Pitta in the human body?

Pitta is a type of dosha in the body and it includes water and fire elements. It’s responsible for regulating our metabolic processes, digestion and body temperature. Because this biochemical process can generate either energy or heat, it needs to stay in balance.

If Pitta is under-balanced, it can cause your core temperature to go down while too much Pitta can cause your temperature to go up. Having a high Pitta for example might include sweating, burning sensations, diarrhea, rashes, inflammation and being hypercritical. To avoid this, incorporate Ayurvedic herbs into your diet. Eat more green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, potatoes, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds. Add more lime, coconut, dill, fennel, peppermint and aloe to your dishes. 

Can Pitta Dosha be cured?

Yes, let’s explain. Pitta Dosha is when pitta is at a lower level and it disturbs areas like the sweat glands or gastrointestinal tract. This “heating up can also affect the heart, liver and blood. It might lead to a symptom like indigestion, hypertension, irritability, acid reflux, insomnia, or heartburn.

To combat this, you need to keep this heat element balanced which can be achieved by reducing spicy, salty and oily foods from your diet. You also want to reduce or eliminate foods like fried foods, heavy meats, oils, dairy and alcohol. As an alternative, eat more fenugreek, fennel seeds and coriander and include fresh lime juice when you prepare your meals.

If you suffer from hot flashes, fevers, high blood pressure or rashes, for an additional cooling approach, wear light clothes that are breathable and have natural fibers (linen, cotton).

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